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|Monroe is located in the extreme southeastern corner of Michiganís lower peninsula, along the coast of Lake Erie at the mouth of the River Raisin. It is the largest city in Monroe County and functions as the county seat. Located halfway between the greater Toledo, Ohio and Detroit metropolitan areas, this city is supported by a diverse economy leading in steel production, paper products, furniture, electrical power and auto parts. |
Monroe began as a French settlement in 1780, when Francois Navarre moved here from Detroit and built a cabin on land deeded to him by the Indians along the north side of the Riviere aux Raisins. This quickly developed into what became Frenchtown, only the third major community in Michigan by 1815. In 1817, an American community began along the south side of the river. It was named after James Monroe, fifth president of the United States, after he planned to stop on his Jubilee tour which inspired the name change in 1817. Monroe is also known for being the childhood home of General George Armstrong Custer, Civil War hero, later defeated by the Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn. His statue, erected by the State of Michigan in 1910, stands downtown by the River Raisin.
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